game billed as "A Score to Settle" between England and
the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors turned out to be a
"Take that and Cool it" affair as England settle the
score early scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes
enroute to a comfortable 3-0 win.
What was impressive about England victory was the fact
that England coach Capello released Wayne Rooney, Frank
Lampard, Andy Cole, and John Terry after England 2-0
victory over USA at Wembley Stadium just days earlier.
all the hype surrounding the England practices in T&T,
David Beckham was restored as the captain of the England
team for the T&T game. As expected Beckham attracted
large numbers of admirers and fans to the England
practice and every time he got close to the fans or made
a move with or without the ball the fans would go crazy.
England Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard were also
getting a buzz from the crowd, while the player of great
interest Jermain Defoe who was also creating a stir but
with his skills and ability. His passes were crisp and
it was anticipated that Defoe quickness would have
created problems for the Soca Warriors defense.
Warriors practice was not as engaging as the England
team but with the announcement of Dwight Yorke arrival
and inclusion in the team the day before the game a few
people attended the T&T practice to see the Soca
Warriors. By that time Kenwyne Jones was cleared to play
by the team doctors and Carlos Edwards and Dennis
Lawrence was back on the team.
On game day the Soca Warriors starting lineup had 6
players from the Germany World Cup squad. Goal keeper
Clayton Ince got the nudge with Dennis Lawrence, Carlos
Edwards, Stern John, Kenwyne Jones and captain Aurtis
Whitley rounding off the experienced part of the lineup.
However in spite of the experience the Warriors were on
their heels from the opening whistle, as England pressed
forward systematically only to have their strikers Defoe
and Ashton missed a couple of good scoring
Things got worse for the Warriors as their marquee
striker Kenwyne Jones went down with a knee injury after
colliding with England goalkeeper David James in an
effort to pick up a through pass behind England defender
Rio Ferdinand. It was the type of play which I thought
Jones could have been better serve to leave alone, since
it was still quite early in the game.
The lost of Jones did not help the Soca Warriors cause,
but the play of the Warriors wing-backs did not improve
their chances of being competitive either . What I find
to be amazing is that the wing back positions in my
estimation was also the Warriors downfall in their last
game against the Reggae Boyz in Kingston in March
Cupid the Warriors right wing back was making unforced
errors continuously in his defensive zone while his
distribution, coverage and positioning was beyond
atrocious. Wayne Bridges the Warriors left back was
giving Beckham too much space resulting in Beckham
having lots of time and touches on the ball that
resulted in several dangerous crosses to the England
It was on one of these crosses that Ashton opened the
scoring for England at the 12 minute mark while Defoe
continued to mesmerize the Warriors defenders only to
score at the 14 minute and 48 minute to give England the
T&T had a few chances of their own when substitute
Darryl Roberts shot straight to the goalkeeper after
coming on for Kenwyne Jones in the first half. Team
captain Aurtis Whitley had the best chance to break the
shutout but shot high from close range in the dying
stages of the game.
Dwight Yorke made a grand appearance at the 74 minute
after replacing Khaleem Hyland in the midfield after
coach Maturana made several substitutions at the half
and towards the end of the game.
Coach Capello also did some house cleaning and replaced
Beckham, Ferdinand, Gerrard and Ashton at the half and
brought Crouch into the game towards the end
to face England with David Beckham & Co
What should Politics and Sports have in common?
It is unbelievable that the biggest International
friendly game in the history of the Trinidad and Tobago
football (TTFF) between the T&T Soca Warriors and
England had to be solidified by a T&T court decision.
The parties involved, the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry
of Sports and the (TTFF) settled their contractual
disagreement for the use of the Hasley Crawford Stadium
for the game on Sunday before Justice Carol Gobin.
Some how it seems like since World Cup 2006 Germany,
every time something positive happens in the Trinidad
and Tobago senior football program a negative situation
always seems to present itself to neutralize any
progress; And maybe that is because the P in Professionalism
and Patriotismalways seems to be confused
and mixed up with People in Position, Party
and Power, which eradicates the Positive
attitudes of the Soca Warriors Players.
It is important to note that after it was revealed that
the contract for the rental of the Hasley Crawford
Stadium was not secured and everyone was wondering if
the England-T&T game was going to take place, the
England team was still going about their business and
busy in training for their game against USA as the squad
worked on passing, movement and finishing for their game
against USA, on Wednesday 28.
The mere thought that the reports out of Trinidad was
based on the contractual disagreement between the TTFF
and the Ministry of Sport and the matter was heading to
court for a resolution and not an arrange meeting
between the two in lieu of the fact that the TTFF had
secured an agreement with one of the largest drawing
card in football (England) with the likes of Beckham,
Rooney, and Crouch I thought was mind boggling.
With the chips down and the image of the Trinidad and
Tobago at stake cooler head prevailed and the parties
have reached an amicable resolution under Justice Carol
Gobin only after Justice Gobin excused herself several
times to allow the two parties to negotiate to a
What’s wrong with this picture is that everyone that I
spoke to knew that this agreement could and should have
been reached without being a distraction to everyone
involved especially since the England FA attorneys were
threatening the TTFF with a law suit if their end of the
contract was not satisfied and a with vast number of
football enthusiast and journalist sitting on their
I reinforce Justice Gobin sentiment that "It is a pity
that things had to reach here. This could have been
settled outside of court."
One has to wonder how a country like Trinidad and Tobago
with the money and highly qualified people and some of
the highest managerial skills in the Caribbean could be
caught up in a turmoil that was the result of a lack of
With the England game previously billed as "A Score to
Settle" game, I have made it my duty to be in Trinidad
for the England, Jamaica and Bermuda game, in order to
see which game should have be billed as “A Score to
Settle” since the Soca Warriors was dominated by England
at World Cup 2006 Germany and also by the Reggae Boyz at
the Rhythms Clash in Jamaica in March.
Failing to settle the score in those games would mean
that T&T will need to advance past Bermuda into the
third round and use “A Score to Settle” as an
appropriate objective or Motto to return to the world
stage to show the world there improvement at World Cup
South Africa 2010.